OPEC divided as Saudi pushes for oil increase

June 8, 2011 13:22


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VIENNA - OPEC oil producers on Wednesday were split down the middle on whether or not to back a Saudi-led plan to increase supplies and try to cap inflated world crude prices.

Under pressure from consumer countries to contain fuel inflation, Riyadh hopes to convince the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to lift production by as much as 1.5 million barrels a day, Gulf delegates said.

As ministers went into closed session, Riyadh had support from its Gulf Arab allies Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates to meet rising demand in the second half of the year.

But five countries -- long-time price hawks Iran and Venezuela plus Ecuador, Iraq and Angola -- say they see no need to increase output.

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